Kiyovu look to return to glory days after Azam deal

SC Kiyovu, the only local team to ever go a whole season unbeaten, have not won any major trophy since the 1993. Courtesy.

To build a winning team, financial stability is a must. And, thus is the hope for former giants SC Kiyovu following their recent Rwf132 sponsorship deal over four years with Azam Group.

Having last captured the league title 27 years ago, it’s safe to say that the post-1994 era has not been kind to SC Kiyovu, a club that was once one of the most dominant in local football.

Since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the Mumena-based side have never finished atop of the league standings, and lost four Peace Cup finals – including last year.

Twenty-seven years without a major title for a team that won four league and Peace Cup (formerly Rwandan Cup) titles between 1883 and 1993, that’s way too long even for their staunchest fan to stomach.

Due to rampant financial constraints, the Green Baggies have on several occasions failed to pay players, coaches and their suppliers. However, the club’s vice-president Theódore Ntarindwa is confident that all that will soon be a thing of the past.

Speaking to Saturday Sport on Thursday, Ntarindwa said, “We want – and we must – return to glory days. With the boost from Azam sponsorship, we will be more competitive, which should translate into titles sooner than later.” 

“The club had for a long time struggled to handle its financial responsibilities, this will soon be history. Doors are open for more partners and sponsors, but more urgently our fans have been patient enough. They want to see their team winning trophies again.” 

According to head coach Emmanuel Ruremesha, winning the league title this season is almost impossible, but his side will ‘definitely’ be challenging for the 2020/2021 championship. 

After 18 matches this season, and with 12 remaining, Kiyovu are fifth with 26 points, 16 adrift of table leaders APR. However, only two points separate them and fourth-placed Mukura.

SC Kiyovu, six-time champions and three-time Peace Cup winners, remain the only team in Rwanda football history to go a whole season unbeaten, a record they registered in 1990.

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